By Bryan Mennnie
So I wanted to make this clear from the start, I am not a lawyer, this does not constitute any advice legal or otherwise. I do however have a schooled layman’s understanding of the law, the ability to research, a keen appreciation of history and applying the concepts of success found in those lessons from the past.
As I put in another application for a firearm today I looked at the list of items and addendums the DFO required me to submit with my SAPS 271 and it struck me that this litany of elements which they compelled me to add, exemplified the ultra vires nature of their demands made on me, you, indeed all of us.
This list included two photographs, this I could actually understand until you look at all of your licenses. They only use the first ones you ever submitted. The additional photographs are not used at all, so why the requirement to make you add it, is it simply to place an additional cost and time consuming requirement in an effort to downstream manage people away from applying?
Secondly the requirement to add, if you purchased a firearm from a dealer, a copy of the dealer’s stock submittal form to SAPS. Yes they are making you, a third party, enter correspondence between themselves and a dealer into your license application. Think about that for a minute; that is like asking your school teacher to send her a letter of employment with your matriculation certificate when you apply to a university. Again why are we not asking why?
Then they ask for copies of your training certificates, now if you were applying for a competency certificate then I could see the validity in this. The competency certificate is the process where the training requirements are meant to be verified and the nature of the person and their criminal propensity such as it is profiled. So why, if the SAPS themselves have already verified and CERTIFIED this, should anyone be compelled to resubmit the source documentation upon which that certification was made. That makes as much logical sense, to dip into our school analogy, to ask a person for a matriculation certificate when the person presents you a bachelors degree. Something, I hasten to add SAPS has done on numerous occasions.
These requirements, none of which are mentioned anywhere in the act and which seem to change at the whim of the DFO, the Provincial FLASH or the CFR, drive the logical conclusion that the officials within these structures are completely captured by bureaucratic inertia and too poorly managed to make changes or utilize a strategy of obfuscation by onerous administration to implement their personal agendas.
Administrative officials which all of these officers are, only derive their power from the law, it is really that simple. They may only demand from you that which is written in the law itself. Their use and responsibilities of those powers and the compulsion on them to adhere to the dictums of that root law is further regulated by the Constitution which dictates that all exercises of public power be rational, justifiable and reasonable. These concepts of rationality, justification and reason, the interpretations thereof and the exercise or compliance therewith are governed by the Promotion of Administrative Justice Act (PAJA). So now we have the Constitution, which uses the PAJA to govern the implementation and administration of the FCA. Alphabet soup right? Yes a little, but from the way I see it, this also provides us the firearms owners and applicants with a great deal of standing in law, IF WE USE IT.
So instead of blindly accepting that which the DFO, FLASH or the CFR tell us, ask for it in writing with reference to the law, demand from them continuously that they adhere to the laws and not think feel or do their own thing.
Here comes my reference to the lessons of history, in the “old days” another piece of onerous indeed odious legislation was foisted upon us, this was called the DOMPAS laws. One of the most successful mechanisms in countering this law was to simply invite arrest and overwhelm the system with the paperwork that went along with it. The strategy worked. Now I am not saying anyone should disregard the law and invite arrest, what I am saying is that the concept of overwhelming the unjust machinations of administration by obfuscation is to leverage every single element of the system to rectify it. Literally we as freedom loving gun owners need to build a wall of paper and process which the administrators themselves will provide. At every opportunity where a DFO, FLASH or CFR member fails to adhere to the PAJA and the concepts of rationality, justification and reason a complaint should be made, sent to the cluster commander, the provincial commissioner, the national commissioner, the SAPS service complaints line, the police civilian secretariat, the police portfolio committee and if you are in the Western Cape to the police ombudsman as well. If you can afford it, engage in legal action but do not meekly comply just to hedge against incompetence or avoid malfeasance. We can change the system, we can demand our justice back but we have to raise our voices and stand steadfast for our constitution, our rights and our freedoms.
#bulliesmustfall, #endapartheid against #gunowners #PAJA #justice4gunowners
Bryan Mennie is a professional risk and crisis manager. He has taught kidnap avoidance and hostage survival to various international organizations and has managed protective and security operations in over twenty countries in Africa, the Middle East and Eastern Europe.